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Bend declares weather emergency to add shelter capacity

Bend City Manager Eric King has signed a weather emergency declaration, effective Saturday, Oct. 26. It allows the use of approved alternative shelter facilities to provide emergency overnight lodging when the temperature is expected to be below 25 degrees and all Bend-area shelter facilities have reached capacity.

Alternative shelter facilities must complete a fire safety inspection and fix safety deficiencies prior to providing overnight lodging. Shelters are only approved by the City of Bend when there is a declared emergency and need.

The city said it expects severe weather conditions that may result in capacity being reached at local shelters, and the emergency weather declaration helps meet the need for shelter during some of the coldest months of the year. The declaration is in effect through March 31, 2020.

“The City of Bend has a long history of working in partnership with local non-profits to provide safe housing for the homeless,” said Fire Marshal and Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention Larry Medina.

” Currently, private and public officials are working with the Homeless Leadership Coalition to spread the word for the urgent need to increase capacity for warming shelters in Central Oregon. We support and advocate for the local non-profits engaged in housing the homeless. ”

For more information or to request a consultation to become an approved alternative shelter facility, contact the Bend Fire Department Prevention Division at 541-322-6309.

The Bend City Council is expected to ratify the declaration at its Nov. 6 meeting.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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